İrem GÖL -TDO- Boris Johnson’s plan to seal a deal with Brussels on the future relationship with the UK by the end of December has been described as “fantasy land” by EU officials, as a leaked letter revealed the scale of the bloc’s inability to function during the coronavirus pandemic. The European Council headquarters, where member states’ positions are coordinated, is only able to hold one daily video conference due to a lack of facilities. The capacity to carry out work is 25% of what it would usually be.
The leaked letter from Michael Clauss, the German ambassador to the EU, to his political bosses in Berlin said a range of issues not key to rebuilding from the pandemic would need to be sidelined as a result. The planned schedule of negotiating rounds on the future relationship was abandoned after the first week due to the pandemic. The UK’s chief negotiator, David Frost, will speak to his EU counterpart, Michel Barnier next week to try to agree a new timetable and method for talks.
However Claus said: “From now on, the focus will be on ability of the European institutions to act, crisis management, exit and reconstruction – possibly maintaining the EU integration itself.” He added the other hey issues would inevitably be overlaid or completely receded as the EU’s ability to act will remain broadly limited until further notice.